For a long period of time, the energy transition was primarily a technical topic concerning the transformation of the energy grid. Technological developments and the decreasing costs of renewables have made it a viable alternative to fossil fuels. The integration, however, of these new systems requires considerable investments meaning money that directly or indirectly will be provided by ordinary citizens through taxes or their energy bill.
In most parts of Europe, the energy transition is in full swing for a carbon neutral future. The EU has set itself the goal of fulfilling at least 20 percent of its total energy needs with renewables in 2020. Currently, the percentage of renewables in the overall energy production differs between member states such as 10 percent in Malta and 49 percent in Sweden.
Denmark was one of the first countries in the EU to seriously start planning for the energy transition. Early planning, broad societal support, and political will have fostered a strong domestic energy industry. Danish company Vestas is the largest wind turbine producer in the world with approximately 16 percent of the global market share. The energy transition is not cheap which requires the allocation of precious resources that could be spent otherwise. The rising energy bill, however, threatens to derail the process in several countries.
In recent weeks, France was shaken up by major demonstrations led by the so-called ‘yellow vests’ movement which was triggered by the rising costs of living. The French government intended to raise taxes for transportation fuels in order to discourage car usage and pay for the energy transition. The protests escalated into a nationwide movement that eventually forced the government to backtrack on the intended tax hikes.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…